National union official Jack Dromey has pledged that Unite will “move mountains” to avert another car plant closure in the Midlands as hopes rise that both Castle Bromwich and Solihull will escape the axe.
Mr Dromey threw down the gauntlet to JLR after a meeting with shop stewards last week – and revealed that new Tata Motors chief executive Carl-Peter Forster had ordered a fresh 100-day strategy review since his arrival in January.
Confirmation of JLR’s re-think was disclosed by Mr Dromey, deputy general secretary of Unite, 24 hours after the Birmingham Mail exclusively revealed that new model ranges could yet safeguard the future of both Lode Lane and Castle Bromwich.
Mr Dromey, Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Erdington, said: “We are fighting hard for the future of the Jag.
“The Jaguar plant is the industrial heart of Erdington, a world-class centre of excellence.
“The new Chief Executive, Carl-Peter Forster, has told our members he needs 100 days to review the future of the British plants.
“It is essential that the two great Midlands plants are at the heart of Tata’s ambitious plans for global growth.
“My number one priority is jobs and manufacturing.
“With our members, we will move mountains to ensure no more great car plants in the Midlands close.
“We will work with the company and the Government to secure the future of the Jag.”
Mr Dromey said he had met with shop stewards representing the Jaguar workforce last Thursday to “hammer out a plan of action to secure the future”.
Mr Dromey’s statement follows widepread speculation that the Jaguar plant is the more vulnerable of the two West Midland factories following JLR’s announcement last September that one of Lode Lane or Castle Bromwich is to close.
Unions have angrily dismissed the closure plan as a “beauty contest”.
JLR says there has been no change from September’s Business Plan, announced under the previous regime with David Smith in charge.